When Girls are Doing Well….

October 7, 2006 at 9:50 am 8 comments

Apparently, this is my week for being enlightened about things I thought had been resolved and were gone forever. First banned books and now I find that young women are still hotly debating whether the children of working women are as well adjusted as stay at home mothers.

The point of the feminist movement in the beginning, well there were many points, but the one that summarizes them all for me is: CHOICE. The women who fought to give 51% of the population a voice in this country blazed a trail allowing every girl an opportunity to fulfill their full potential. For some that was a career with the ability to compete for promotions on an equal footing with their male counterparts. For others it was just the knowledge that they COULD compete if they wanted to, or needed to in support of their family.

I have a friend who says: “When girls are doing well, men and boys are doing better and that’s good for the entire community.” She’s right. Great children come from great parenting, and the interaction of great teachers, school counsellors, ministers, adult neighbors and childcare providers. Great mothers come from working to fulfill their potential. For some, that will be working to provide a perfect home for their husband and kids. For others to achieve that perfect home, they’ll work outside it for awhile every day.

I don’t have perfect children. My problems with grandgirls mom are well documented throughout this blog. I was a fully engaged mother despite also working outside the home and her failures had nothing to do with how we parented her… this according to HER. The other four are hardworking, successful, well adjusted young people. They may have turned out the same if I hadn’t worked outside the home, but I doubt it. Because I would not have been the same kind of mother.

I worked because we needed the money, but I would have even if Pap could have supported us all on his own. I worked because I had a burning desire to accomplish something that was just mine, to actively contribute to my community through volunteer service and I needed the feedback that comes with that kind of lifestyle. It was by having the opportunity to chase my own dreams that gave me the energy to really be there for my kids.

I’ll support your decision to be a homemaker with all the enthusiasm I use supporting the women who choose to work. But I will not support either claim that one way is better than the other, it’s an individual choice, based on an individual personality.


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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cindy  |  October 7, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    I agree with you- neither one is “better”. It’s a personal choice but too often subject to the opinions of others, even though it shouldn’t be. I’ve done both- been a stay at home mom for several years and a working mom for several more. All of my six kids have adjusted well and have become wonderful adults (well, Libby’s only 14 but she’s going to turn out just as well as the others). Stay home vs work is not what defines your kids.
    Dr. John sent me here looking for a pumpkin launcher.

  • 2. DaveM  |  October 7, 2006 at 3:01 pm

    There’s arguments both ways and I wouldnt take one side against the other. What I do think though, is that its the realtionship you have with your kids whenever you spend time together that is the important thing.
    Just keep working at those relationships.

  • 3. Jackie's Garden  |  October 7, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Each family is individual and each parents differently. Time spent is not everything, afterall, isn’t it quality, not quantity!?!?

  • 4. Just Tom  |  October 8, 2006 at 1:17 am

    I’d like to add that anyone who suffers from the delusion that stay at home moms don’t work has never been a stay at home parent or in my case a single parent. I think there is now a reverse stigma (a reversal of the old idea that moms should stay at home)that a stay at home mom is somehow lazy or not working– “so, what do you do?” “Oh, I’m just a mom.” “Oh. I see.”

    It is a choice, but nowadays it seems that the braver choice with more stigma is to do the mom thing. Funny how things can turn…

  • 5. Kat Campbell  |  October 8, 2006 at 8:46 am

    Cindy – You’d think that the opinion of those of us that have done both would carry some weight. I don’t have a pumpkin launcher, will a safety knife do?

    Dave – exactly right. Relationships are always built on quality not quantity. Excellent point.

    Tom – Well said. Stay at home parent is the hardest job in the world. All the work, all the worry, with no paycheck and not much positive feedback.

  • 6. Kat Campbell  |  October 8, 2006 at 8:49 am

    Hi Jackie! Parenting styles are like night and day aren’t they?

  • 7. Just Tom  |  October 8, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    Yeah, but differeing parenting styles within one home can be very divisive.

    My cousin dated a guy for years and they both had kids from previous relationships. They felt like they were made for each other and decided to get married and do the Brady bunch thing. I think their marriage was so short that they got it anulled. She was super-laid-back-hippy- mom, he was very-strict-militant-dad. Talk about the fastest way to split up a marriage. Paretning is unique to any household, but watch out if it’s too unique to each parent within a household!

  • 8. Kat Campbell  |  October 8, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    Excellent point Tom. Pap and I were pretty close in policies and beliefs. He was stricter, but not so much more that it affected our core values.


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